University of Oxford
George and his colleagues from the University of Oxford Big Data Institute have recently returned from the Mobile Malaria Project, a six-week trip to Africa to learn about malaria research and to trial MinION sequencing pipelines in the field. Working with local collaborators in Zambia and Kenya, much of the project was spent training African scientists on the basics of nanopore sequencing and assessing its feasibility in low resource settings. The team tested amplicon sequencing pipelines for key antimalarial resistance genes in Plasmodium falciparum and insecticide resistance genes in Anopheles gambiae. They hope to use what they learnt to further develop research collaborations and build capacity for nanopore sequencing in Africa.
University of British Columbia
Dr John Tyson is a senior research associate in the lab of Professor Terrance Snutch and is based in the Michael Smith laboratories and Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health at the University of British Columbia. He is a molecular cell biologist by training and his work focuses mainly on aspects of genome modification and altered transcript splicing events relating to neurological disease, in particular the voltage dependent calcium channels. John has been utilizing nanopore sequencing in his research since 2014, focusing on both single molecule full length splice variation and whole genome sequencing and assembly. This has led to the production of expanded C. elegans genomes, with delineation of large structural variants, and the first reference human genome using the MinION as a member of the Nanopore Whole Genome Sequencing Consortium. He is currently working on methods to expand nanopore read lengths for better production of whole genome assemblies, and also using individual full length RNA/cDNA transcript sequencing to better understanding contextual splice variation in neurological disease.
University of Nottingham
Prof. Matt Loose is based at the School of Life Sciences, University of Nottingham. A developmental biologist and bioinformatician, he also heads up DeepSeq, the University of Nottingham next-generation sequencing service. The DeepSeq lab is equipped with MinION, GridION and now PromethION. DeepSeq actively encouraged Nottingham Academics to apply to join the Nanopore Community and, in return, supported participants with both library prep and bioinformatics, and led to the development of tools including MinoTour and also working on Read Until. Matt was initially interested in the generation of long-reads to sequence novel genomes alongside real-time analysis of MinION data. To that end he recently co-led with Prof Nick Loman the sequencing and assembly of the first reference human genome on the MinION. DeepSeq also have a small urn in their possession, although perhaps not for much longer.
University of Birmingham
Nick is Professor of Microbial Genomics and Bioinformatics in the Institute of Microbiology and Infection at the University of Birmingham and a Fellow at the Alan Turing Institute. He is supported by a Fellowship in Microbial Genomics Bioinformatics as part of the MRC CLIMB project. His research explores the use of cutting-edge genomics and metagenomics approaches to the diagnosis, treatment and surveillance of infectious disease. Nick has so far used high-throughput sequencing to investigate outbreaks of important Gram-negative multi-drug resistant pathogens, and recently helped establish real-time genomic surveillance of Ebola in Guinea and Zika in Brazil. His current work and focuses on the development and evaluation of novel molecular biology, sequencing and bioinformatics methods to aid the interpretation of genome and metagenome scale data generated in clinical and public health microbiology.
Dr. Sarah Wallace serves as technical lead in the Microbiology Laboratory at the NASA Johnson Space Center, which is responsible for mitigating infectious disease risk during human spaceflight. Her responsibilities include the assessment of microbial risk based on vehicle and mission architectures as well as crewmember, food, and environmental monitoring. These assessments are used to develop requirements for NASA and commercial spaceflight vehicles, including the International Space Station. In addition to her operational support of human spaceflight, Dr. Wallace leads new technology initiatives for her discipline with the goal of reducing Earth dependence for complex sample analysis. She has served as PI for numerous spaceflight investigations, including those to increase off-planet molecular biology capabilities and also to understand how the spaceflight environment impacts cellular behavior.